Monday, July 8, 2013

Get Moving Mondays: Tips to get you working out like an athlete

Today's Workout:
5 mile run with strides at the last mile
(30 second sprint / 30 second jog)

Hello friends and Happy Monday!! Why should Mondays be such a drag? Because we're back at work? Because we rather be partying on the weekends? Because we rather be on vacation? Mondays bring us back to reality because we have to return to work and because they remind us that we have to responsible human beings. But you know what, in my opinion, Mondays don't have to be a bubble-buster. Mondays should be seen as a day to a brand new start. Doesn't it feel great to accomplish a goal? Doesn't it empower you to know that you have control over your life? Don't you feel proud when you succeed at something?

Call me an optimist, but I feel like everyday is a blessing. Every new day offers me a chance to do something new and accomplish a goal. These things make me feel empowered and determined to succeed (whatever the goal may be). So where am I getting at? Time and time again I have written about the importance of being active and working out. I know how difficult it could be to squeeze in a workout session into the day, especially if you work long hours. It's easy to fall into the trap of making excuses (because they validate how you feel), but in the long run, you're only affecting yourself (and perhaps your family too). Post weight loss, I vowed to make some changes in my life; These changes weren't only physical, they were mental as well. I truly believe that anyone can change their pattern of thinking if they really want to. Remember, habits can be formed in 28 days, so why not give working out a chance?

Here are some tips to get you up and running:
1. Change your perspective. Stop thinking that you're a couch potato and not worthy of feeling and looking good. Think of yourself as an athlete and as someone who is capable of working out. Remind yourself that working out benefits you and your family as well. Remember, your children will be influenced by your actions. If they see you being active chances are they will want to be active too.
How I changed my perspective: I always told myself, "If he/she can do it, why can't I? I'm not less special or capable."
2. Set a goal. Setting goals will motivate you to exercise. Make sure your goals are realistic and that you're able to adapt your life around that goal. Goals may seem scary because they force us out of our comfort zones, but as you progress through them you will see a ripple effect in your life. All of a sudden things are falling into place at work, at home and in your personal life. This is the empowering part of accomplishing one goal; it gives you the confidence to succeed at other things.
How I set up my goals: My initial goal was to lose weight and to start running. After losing 80 pounds my next goal was to run a marathon. After I ran my first marathon my next goal was to run a marathon in under 3 hours. After accomplishing that goal my next goal is to qualify for the Olympic Trials.
3. Make a schedule to workout. Take out your planner and schedule your workout sessions accordingly. By writing things down you hold yourself accountable to accomplish a goal. Don't try to "wing" it because you will set yourself up for failure. Remember, something will always come up and you'll end up postponing your workout. Most people workout either before going to work or after. It's up to you to decide. Consider this a time for yourself, so make an appointment with you!
How I schedule my workout: For me, working out before work has always worked. Sometimes it's difficult to get out of bed at 4:30 in the morning, but then I remind myself how amazing I'm going to feel after I workout. The reward of feeling good and accomplished outweighs sleeping in and staying in bed.
4. Have fun and add variety. Choose an exercise regimen that you enjoy. Working out doesn't have to be boring and monotonous. There are many forms of exercise such as, body sculpting classes, kickboxing, dance, boot camp, hula hooping, etc. You could also exercise with your family and friends by playing recreational sports or setting up workout dates with your girlfriends. By nature humans need change because we get bored, so don't be afraid to spice things up and try different things. And it's ok if you look silly doing it, at least you're out there! Believe me, I can't dance or hula hoop or kick box, but I wouldn't mind trying them.
I do what I enjoy: Luckily by chance, I figured out that I have a passion for running. This is what I stick to because I love it and enjoy it. I have also figured out though that other forms of exercise are necessary such as, weight training. Lifting weights isn't on the top of my list, but I make it work by doing it HIIT style.
5. Look for support. Don't be afraid to ask for help from a trainer or nutritionist. It's ok to need help when one starts. Consider joining a social networking site or online community of trainers and nutritionists. If that's not a feasible option for you try to reach out to your friends and/or family. Ask your friends to take a walk with you or join a social athletic club like TeamFootWorks  in Miami, FL.
How I find support: I currently have a coach that runs with me and he sets me up on training runs with other runners who push me to run as hard as I can.
How did you start your exercise program?
I'm grateful for the support and
encouragement that my hubby
gives me for running. 

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  1. I like Mondays. I love my weekends too and just this past weekend, we spent time with my best friend that I grew up with and his wife. We did a day hike in the woods of PA of about eight miles and spent that time catching up. However great that time was, it's good to return to Mondays. We all need a break but also need that check and balance Mondays bring. Enjoying my weekends gives me an energy boost to get motivated on Mondays.

    1. I like your way of thinking. We definitely need a check and balance in our lives. It's great to play but we also need some down time.

  2. I started an exercise program while I was studying abroad in Athens and noticed that my clothes weren't fitting anymore...too much delicious food over there! I joined a Greek gym which functioned very differently than the gyms here in the U.S. - personal training is included for everyone there. Since I was new to exercising I needed the help. The staff taught me how to lift and gave me cardio workouts to do too. During that year I learned a lot, developed a love for fitness, and my clothes fit again :-) (

    1. What a great place to start an exercise program! It's interesting how personal training is given to every gym member. Good job!

  3. I love Mondays as well! They represent a fresh start and a new challenge!

    I started running after moving to the US seven years ago. I wanted to stay fit yet I didn't want to spend $$$ on a gym membership! After graduating from college last year, I started taking my occasional running more seriously and I'm now working towards my next goal: NYC Marathon in November!

    1. Martina that's awesome! Running is definitely cheaper than other sports. I wish you tons of luck at the NYC Marathon =).